How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Program near Pelican Alaska
Finding the best nursing program near Pelican AK may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Pelican AK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alaska board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nurses are an essential part of a Pelican AK medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Pelican AK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alaska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Pelican AK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Pelican AK students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Pelican AK or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alaska and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Pelican AK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alaska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pelican AK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pelican AK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Pelican AK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Pelican AK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Pelican Alaska area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Pelican AK
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Best Nursing Masters Programs. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pelican AK.
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